Thursday, 11 July 2013

Taste the rainbow!

Anyone who knows me will know that I adore baking and decorating cakes, so when my niece's 6th birthday was coming up, of course I offered to bake her cake!  I really have no idea what she is into right now because every time I ask her she gives me a different answer, so I asked her what her favorite color is.  She told me her favorite is light purple, but then later she came up to me and whispered that she really likes all the colors in the whole entire rainbow.  Well, of course I had to make a rainbow cake for her!  Now, I love for cakes to have a little bit of a surprise factor, and this one is no exception!  I made several 8" round cakes and cut them in halves so they would sit in a rainbow arch shape on the cake board.  I hollowed out the middle 3 layers and stuffed them full of skittles!  Then I put the outer layer on and sealed it up, iced it like a rainbow, added some little cake ball clouds and threw on some gold coins for the gold at the end of the rainbow.  Voila!  Nobody knows what is inside until it gets cut open when they get to "See the rainbow, Taste the rainbow" (get it, skittles reference!)

Jumping through Name Changing Hoops!

Ack! It has been forever since I posted on my blog! Life has a way of getting in the way sometimes!

We recently got married (in Vegas! woo!)  I have found that there are zero resources that explain in detail what steps for a Saskatchewan resident to change their name after marriage, so I have decided to document my journey of hoop jumping to help others out.

Step 1: Since we got married in Las Vegas, we got our marriage license there.  It was super easy.  You can pre-apply online on the Clark County Website.  We didn't do that, so we had to fill out the most basic of forms when we got there.  It did throw us for a loop for a second though when it wanted to know the cities our parents were born in and their middle names.  They were ok with us not having one of those filled in that we couldn't remember, but I think they would have been less lenient if we had more empty spots.  (For the record; the marriage license issuer is really easy to get to.  If you get on a Las Vegas city bus on the strip called the SDX and ride it to the Freemont St. Experience stop it is only a one block walk south from the stop on the east side of the road. Big pink building. can't miss it. There is a big sign out front on the south side of the building where to enter to get your marriage license)  It was very quick and easy for us, there were only 2 couples in line ahead of us.  The bus ride was longer than the length of time we were inside!

Step 2: Get Married!! Make sure you take your license with you to wherever you choose to get married.  They will give you a keepsake copy of your marriage certificate, but this is not the one you need for changing your name.  Anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks after your wedding you can go to the Clark County Records Website, type in your name(s) and search for your certificate, at which point you will pay $15 to have your legal marriage certificate mailed to you.

Step 3: Wait patiently for your certificate to show up!  While you are waiting, change your name on all the fun and easy stuff like Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and email signatures!

Step 4: Find out that if you want to LEGALLY change your name in Saskatchewan there is a $125 fee, but it is not necessary if you are changing your surname after marriage, divorce, annulment  or becoming a widower.  Marriages in the United States are automatically recognized in Canada and filed with Vital Statistics.

Step 6: The logical first step for me was to change my Sask. Drivers License.  I had such a good picture for my last one (i know! that never happens!) I was hesitant to go for another one, so I waited for a good hair and make-up day!  Take your marriage certificate with you as proof of name change.  Note that if you have a package policy on your vehicle separate from your regular insurance/registration, your name may or may not be changed on that and you may have to contact that insurance provider to change it.  (Some license issuers will accept a copy of your marriage license, but some will not.  If you take your original with you, I suggest keeping it in a protective sleeve or you will need to spend another $15 on a new one!)  For me there was a $10 fee to re-do my photo id. No other associated fees.

Step 7:  Sask Health Services Card.  I found the website confusing and the form confusing as well, but I made sure I called and a nice lady helped me with which form and which sections to fill out.  This is the right form. (Change to Family Unit) In the first section, you are the applicant and fill it out with your maiden name.  The date of change is whatever date you are filling out the form.  Check off Spouse should be added and reason for change is Marriage.  Fill out children information if applicable to you, then address and if you want a new card (of course you want a new card with your shiny new name on it!) and jump to Section F.  This is where you put in your name change.  Previous name will be your maiden name and then New name is your married name.  Reason for name change again, Marriage.  Sign and date the form (both you and your hubby) and you are done!  Print and mail away the form and wait for your new card with your new name to show up! (It took forever to get the new card)

Step 8: It made sense to me to change my name on my health insurance card through Group Medical Services after I filed the Health Card change, and this one was as simple as faxing them a copy of my marriage certificate with an attached note saying "Please change my name on my card, I got hitched". I can't say if it would be this easy through other insurance companies, but this was pretty simple.

Step 9: While we are talking health and medical, it makes sense to change your name on the file at your family Doctor's office as well as Dentists or any other Health Professionals you may have been seeing.

Step 10:  Bank Accounts.  This usually requires an in-person meeting at your branch with the original marriage certificate, or an updated copy of your driver's license and new health card (with your new name obviously) but of course every bank and/or Credit Union is different.  Don't forget at the same time to change any loans/mortgage documents, RESPs and/or RRSPs.  I should also include Credit Cards in this group, but since the only one I have is through my Credit Union, I'm all set so I can't tell you what you may need to change those.

Step 11:  Utilities and other bills.  For me this includes things like SaskTel, SaskEnergy, SaskPower, Bell, Shaw, and Wawanesa.  A simple phone call was all it took for all of these for me.

Step 12: Employment Records.  Make sure you have your boss (or HR person/payroll department/whoever is in charge of these things at your place of employment) change your name on all your work related documents.  They may or may not want proof of name change.

Step 13: I know people that have gone through many years of marriage without doing it, but you really should change your name on your Social Insurance Number.  If you don't, you may not be able to keep up with your credit rating and your 'old' name may be getting dragged through the mud.  Also related to this and you can probably do it in the same stop at the Service Canada center closest to you, is to update your passport.  Keep in mind, you will need new photos with you if you are doing this.  You will need your original marriage certificate as well.  It isn't necessary to update your passport immediately if you are not planning to travel anytime in the near future though.  I have heard rumors of them changing over to a passport that will be good for 10 yrs sometime this summer, so I am holding off until then.

Step 14: I am in the process of finding out what is needed to update my voter registration card right now.  Although I am sure it will be something as simple as filing my tax return in my new name.

Step Whenever: The stuff I may or may not get around to anytime soon; my 9000 rewards cards for various stores.  Any that I can change online I probably will, but otherwise, they aren't doing any harm having a different name on them.I may update anything else I have found to be especially confusing or hassle filled as I stumble across it as well.

Hope this helps with the confusion, and Congrats on tying the knot! :)